Jump to content

Massaquoi: Don't Rush To Judge Pass Rush


OC
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://espn.go.com/b...judge-pass-rush

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi laughed when reminded how much emphasis there has been on the team's inability to address its pass-rush woes through free agency or the draft.

"I just feel like, hey, I’m going to continue to let everybody think what they want to think," Massaquoi said. "I have 10 guys on the field with me that trust me. I’ve got a coaching staff, I’ve got an organization that trust me and other guys to get the job done.

"Technically, nobody knows what’s going to happen in September. Technically, nobody’s been here except from the outside looking in. I mean, hey, let them say that. We’re going to be scrutinized whether or not we’re on the top, whether or not we’re down, whether or not we’re doing good. All I can do is get ready for Sept. 7, for New Orleans, and show the world what we’ve been doing."

That is quite a bit of confidence from a guy with just four sacks in 24 NFL games. But Massaquoi isn't caught up in numbers. Neither is Falcons coach Mike Smith, who would prefer to see consistent pressure and the defense getting of the field on third down rather than inflated sack numbers. The Falcons had the league's worst third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert 45.9 percent of the time.

Smith is confident the group of pass-rushers will improve, starting with the 6-foot-2-inch, 264-pound Massaquoi.

"I think he’s maturing, not only as a pass-rusher, but he’s maturing as a football player," Smith said. "I think he has the skill set that we’re looking for to fit into multiple pieces of our defense.

"Jonathan, if you look at his numbers, they’re outstanding: his height, his speed, size, arm length. And he really had a productive second year. I feel like, in my conversations with him, that he left opportunities out there on the field. And I think he understands and realizes that, in retrospect, you don’t get second opportunities."

Indeed, Massaquoi has matured. He pointed to last season's game against the New York Jets -- during which he played 18 snaps at defensive end in a 30-28 loss -- as a perfect example of learning from your mistakes.

"The Jets was my only mismanaged game, mentally," he said. "My mental preparation wasn’t there. And I learned from that game. That’s why I’m in the position I’m in now. The biggest leap for me has been my mental preparation, my mentality coming into camp, my mentality off the field, my mentality coming back to here. All those [have] taken a leap. And it’s put me in this position right now. And I’ve got to continue to ascend."

The onus might be on Massaquoi to elevate his game, but with no elite pass-rusher, applying pressure on opposing quarterbacks has to be a group effort. Fellow outside linebacker Kroy Biermann is underrated when it comes to applying pressure, but he could be the wildcard. Players such as Jonathan Babineaux, Malliciah Goodman, and rookie Ra'Shede Hageman should enhance pressure from inside. And end Osi Umenyiora, who led the team with 7.5 sacks last season, will be used as a designated pass-rusher.

The training camp practices in pads should reveal a lot about where the pass rush stands. Then again, the Falcons are highly unlikely to reveal much about how they plan to attack opposing quarterbacks once the regular season begins.

"The only way your performance is measured in practice is by your effort," Massaquoi said. "It doesn’t matter if you’re beating the guy. It’s your effort. And the end of the day, your effort can override a mistake. Effort’s everything. And attitude is No. 1."

Edited by OC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

I've been on the Mass transit train for awhile now. I think I'm the conductor. I believe he will win a lot of fans over. He's gonna be a hit. Smart articulate guy with a likable personality. I believe he'll be our first or second best pass rusher this year.

Co-conductor sir...biggrin.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been on the Mass transit train for awhile now. I think I'm the conductor. I believe he will win a lot of fans over. He's gonna be a hit. Smart articulate guy with a likable personality. I believe he'll be our first or second best pass rusher this year.

who would be 1st?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

" But Massaquoi isn't caught up in numbers. Neither is Falcons coach Mike Smith, who would prefer to see consistent pressure and the defense getting of the field on third down rather than inflated sack numbers. "

This is what drives me crazy about Smith. I get there are garbage time sacks, and you'd rather get a sack on 3rd down than anytime else, but there is no such thing as "inflated sack numbers". If we can get sacks, it's going to get in the QB's head. Worrying about what down they come on is pointless. Take them when you can get them. If we are focused on just the pressure and not taking the QB down, we aren't following through. Settling for consistent pressure isn't enough. You want to take him down every play. It's the wrong way to communicate to the team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And like I said, you can get a pass rusher outside the top 10 of a draft, much harder to get a franchise OT outside of the top 10 of a draft. We absolutely made the right pick in Matthews.

Not in last year's draft we couldn't. So if our passrush is horrible again this year i'm blaming you. Hahah
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We'll see how Hageman does. He could be the real deal.

It's true, I do have high hopes for him. He could be a far better passrusher from the inside than anybody left on the board was from the outside. I hope he lives up to his potential because he has plenty of it.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And like I said, you can get a pass rusher outside the top 10 of a draft, much harder to get a franchise OT outside of the top 10 of a draft. We absolutely made the right pick in Matthews.

I'm satisfied with Matthews but improving the offense shouldn't have been the top priority. Pass Rush should've been the top priority and giving up whatever it took to acquire should've happened imo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm satisfied with Matthews but improving the offense shouldn't have been the top priority. Pass Rush should've been the top priority and giving up whatever it took to acquire should've happened imo.

Apparently there was nothing to give up. We were trying to trade up in the 1'st every pick but couldn't find any takers. We certainly didn't need to spend what the Bills did to move up.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time to put up or get out. There are guys on this team that have those spots. The guys that are going to be counted on. Being honest, I'm not too confident. I know they have the ability, but that's nothing without production. We will see what 2014 brings. Biermann, Goodman, Maponga, Massaquoi, Osi, Bartu, Shembo, Spruill, Starr, Worrilow. I'm not sure they all will be here at the end, but if they are, they will have a chance to get after the QB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

" But Massaquoi isn't caught up in numbers. Neither is Falcons coach Mike Smith, who would prefer to see consistent pressure and the defense getting of the field on third down rather than inflated sack numbers. "

This is what drives me crazy about Smith. I get there are garbage time sacks, and you'd rather get a sack on 3rd down than anytime else, but there is no such thing as "inflated sack numbers". If we can get sacks, it's going to get in the QB's head. Worrying about what down they come on is pointless. Take them when you can get them. If we are focused on just the pressure and not taking the QB down, we aren't following through. Settling for consistent pressure isn't enough. You want to take him down every play. It's the wrong way to communicate to the team.

This is where I think Coach Cox will really make a difference. Apparently he has really been hassling the defenders so far in training camp to "finish, finish, finish!" and has been jumping all over anyone who doesn't show 100% effort or isn't able to finish a play. I hope this goes a long way into generating more sacks from guys who would get close in the past (Babineaux, Massaquoi) but could never actually get the QB down to the ground.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...